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sumter
06-01-2012, 10:39
A senior citizens' centre (http://www.halsteadgazette.co.uk/news/9443241.Halstead__New_community_centre_plans_could _be_underway_within_months/) in New Street, Halstead, Essex has been threatened with closure. According to some sources, it was built during the war as 'a hotel for USAAF servicemen'. If that's true, then it presumably it served the various American airfields in the local district - although I'd have thought it more likely to be a American Red Cross facility.

Anyone know any more?

Paul Francis
06-01-2012, 11:14
No but best photograph it before it gets demolished

PETERTHEEATER
06-01-2012, 11:19
Is this it?

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=new+street+halstead+uk&hl=en&ll=51.942231,0.632443&spn=0.00125,0.002411&sll=38.61687,-95.712891&sspn=51.176897,79.013672&vpsrc=6&hnear=New+St,+Halstead,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=51.942231,0.632443&panoid=FVFfYyEjVvI5orfLJeLurg&cbp=12,52.18,,0,-3.7

sumter
06-01-2012, 13:02
Yes, Peter, that's the place.

sumter
06-01-2012, 18:00
After a bit of phoning around, I've found out that the structure was purpose-built as an "Anglo-American Club" in 1943. In the same area, there were apparently others at Sible Hedingham and Gt Dunmow - the latter (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/51/a5349251.shtml) possibly being of the same design and construction. Does anyone know if these temporary structures, with their specific 'club' purpose, featured in other USAAF base areas where no suitable existing premises were available?

The Halstead club became a youth hostel post-war before being used over the past 70-odd years by various clubs and societies. It might well be the last of its type.